Moonlit Shenanigans past Midnight
“Hey I just wanted to thank you for doing this, driving all the way back here to drop them off, you’re a good friend ya know?” I reached out and turned the the knob down to lower the music, then returned my hand to the clutch.
“Eh. It was no problem at all, someone had to drive them home.”
The interior of the car was pitch black, except for the dimly illuminated car displays. I could barely see her even though we both sat in the front seats. The passing street lights overhead lit up the car space for a slight moment, with each flash of yellow light that rolled off the car I would catch a glimpse of her face: tired eyes, makeup and pink lip gloss.
“No really thanks for all this.” She continued. “You’re actually like, a good person.”
“Wait, are you saying you didn’t think I was to start with?” I said, sarcastically.
“Shush, you know what I mean, don’t ruin it.” She paused, then looking over she said. ”Give me your hand.”
“Uhm. What. Why. It’s sweaty.” I continued to ramble on. “We just came back from a concert and we didn’t even shower and..”
“Oh my gosh, can you stop talking and just give it here.” She demanded.
Without taking my eyes off the road I slipped my hand off the clutch and slid my fingers between hers on top of her thigh. Her cold fingers laced between mine and it felt tingly as we continued to sit there, in the dark rumbling of the car.
The music played lowly while the dull sound of the engine loudly hummed on.
I can’t even. What now. I think I’m going to cry or something.
“You know, this feels nice.” She says, breaking the silence.
At this point I’m practically breaking the steering wheel with my other hand from gripping it so hard. I felt my heart hop out of my chest. Then back in. I could only squeeze out a small phrase from my tight throat: “Yeah, this feels nice.” I paused, then added.
“So you uh, do this with other guys too?”
The moment the words left my mouth, I felt like crashing the car so I could die and never have to think about the stupidest thing ever said.
She giggled. “No you fool. Not at all.”
“Oh. I mean. OK. Yeah.” I stumbled off.
Yeah. like that was going to make it OK.
“Really, Thanks though.” She said again.
We drove the rest of the way back to my house in silence. It was already 2 am when I finally pulled into the driveway. Without letting go of her hand, I reached around the steering wheel with my free hand, grabbed the keys and switched off the ignition. With that, the pure darkness and quietness of the night flooded into the car with us still tightly holding each other. The inside of the car glowed dimly from the moon, which was bright and high in the colorless sky, as we sat in the car without another word. My mind slowly unclouded as my restricted breaths slowed back to its deep and natural pace. The cold atmosphere seeped into the car but neither of us seemed bothered by it. After a while I finally looked over at her, not thinking or feeling anything, and just looked at her.
After a moment she looked back over at me with a tight smile and said: “It’s time to go back in don’t you think? The others are waiting.”
Our hands slipped away from each other. We stepped out of the car and walked through the dark front yard to the door underneath the light glow of moonlight.
The next day I woke up and still felt her hand, as tingly as it was last night.
A month later she stopped talking to me. Lots of studying she texted me. Maybe next time. A week later we went to another concert together since we already bought our tickets a while back before she “got too busy”. The moment we got to the event center we ran into people she recognized as high pitched screams and hugs were exchanged between her and her friends.
“Hey I’m gonna go with them, is that alright?”
“Yeah sure.” Her back already turned. “Have fun.” I finished, as they disappeared into the crowd.
I wanted to be angry but instead felt empty, hollow.
I walked through the main doors myself, mindlessly cutting through crowds of people that crowded around the stage in the darkness as they bounced and swayed to the heavy pounding of bass and rhythm. When I got deep into the middle of the crowd I just stood there, lights flashing, floor rumbling. The stage area was almost completely dark, faces were hardly recognizable. People bumped and jerked all around me as chaotic motions of hands swung high and waists swung low. A girl backed into me from the hectic crowd and didn’t back away. Automatically latching on we moved in sync to the beat for the next three hours, held together only at the hips and hands. When it had finally ended she turned around, pulled me close, and kissed my neck.
“Thank you.” She whispered into my ear, before slipping away and disappearing into the crowd.
Not even a name.
The sky must have been cloudy that night. I walked back outside to my car in the pitch dark and squeezed my hand shut, grasping at the emptiness.